Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When should I schedule my session?
A: The two main things that help my clients decide when to book are the yearbook deadline and the type of background they hope to have. Check with your school in early summer to find out when the yearbook image is due. For most schools, this is between August and November, but some schools are later. Then choose a date about 6-8 weeks before that due date. That allows plenty of time to hold your session, deliver the gallery, choose your favorites and place your order, with a little wiggle room in case the weather doesn't cooperate on your first choice date.
If you have less than 6-8 weeks, don't panic! I keep dates open in my schedule to accommodate last-minute requests, so give me a call or write and we will see what I can do. Weekend dates book up the quickest.
As for backgrounds, if we are doing a studio-only session, the time of day and month does not matter! But if you have a specific look you're going for outside, certain times of the year work better than others. June-July tend to be the greenest, and if you are looking for wildflowers, July is your best bet. August can be hit or miss - sometimes it's still green and vibrant, other times it's starting to get brown and the flowers have already peaked. In September we get cooler weather and toward the end of the month the leaves begin to change. Early October is historically best for fall tones. By November the leaves have usually all fallen off the trees. Snowy portraits can be really fun, too, and a different alternative, so don't be afraid to do outdoor sessions in the winter if you can handle the cold.
Q: Does your session fee include a disc of images?
A: Check out my pricing page - there you'll see the session fee covers my time and talent at your session, and after your ordering gallery is ready, you'll buy your prints, digital images or other products separately.
I do offer digital images, available on their own or as part of your custom collection.
Many of my clients ask about digital images not because they want to deal with printing themselves, but because they want to share their portraits with friends and family online. You don't have to buy the digital version to do this - with any print purchase, I will give you a free low-resolution, watermarked image for sharing online.
Q: I'm not sure what to wear! Can you help me?
A: Yes! I love helping my seniors put together the best looks for their photography session. And it doesn't mean you'll have to buy all new clothes. Once your session is booked I will send you a clothing guide with suggestions for what to wear, tips for hair and makeup (for the girls) and common things to avoid. And my help doesn't end there - if you'd like, I can act as your personal stylist before and during the session, looking at photos and going through the clothes you bring to choose the most flattering outfits for your portraits. Feel free to bring a bunch of outfits to your session - when you arrive I will look through them and give you my advice on what will photograph best in each location.
Q: I am worried about scheduling my session because I have braces (or acne or scars or tan lines) - should I wait?
A: Retouching and editing is an option! Your order always includes skin retouching at no additional charge. I will edit scars, freckles and moles upon request, but otherwise leave them as-is. Braces CAN be removed from a photo for a low, additional charge per image. Tan lines can be tricky - if you have serious tan lines I recommend wearing clothes that hide them, but they can sometimes be helped with an extra editing fee.
Q: What happens if it rains the day of our session or it's really cloudy, freezing cold or 100 degrees?
A: Never fear - we have a few options if the weather is not cooperating. We can head to my beautiful studio in Burnsville, or, if you have your heart set on an outdoor setting, we will reschedule for the next best date. I will photograph outside in almost any temperature if my seniors are comfortable. So if it's not actively raining or snowing and you're up for it, we will still go outdoors. I have photographed in -6 degrees outside and on a day when the heat index was 118.
As for worries about a cloudy day - we don't need the sun to be shining brightly! I always look for great light, even on an overcast day, plus bring additional lighting to add some extra oomph where needed.
Q: I am not comfortable in front of the camera and always worry I won't like pictures of myself. What can you do to put me at ease and make me look my best?
A: You're not alone! I'm a photographer and you'd think because of that I'd have billions of photos of myself, but I'm still not thrilled when I'm in front of the camera. Before our session begins, I will give you some general posing advice to keep you looking natural and relaxed. If we're at the studio we can turn on your favorite music to either calm you down or energize you. Many, many people start a session telling me they are not photogenic but I have never found that to be true. I help you look your best and feel comfortable so that it shows in your pictures.